Different Types of Tiles

We live in an age where choices are in abundance. From the toothpaste we buy to the coffee we drink, sometimes it may seem like there are too many options to choose from, and a tile installation comes with just as many options as anything else. When it’s about selecting the tiles for your homes, you stand a great range of options to choose from which actually leaves you confused! It may be because you are not well-aware about the types of tiles available in the market and their properties. Here is a quick guide to educate you about major types of tiles used in India to help you with making the decision.

  1. Ceramic Tiles:

Ceramic tiles are one of the most-used wall and floor tiles in Indian homes, covering any room, bathroom, kitchen, outdoor and office because it is a very resistant material and, above all, adaptable to any environment, since it is found in the most varied colors. They are durable and pretty much easy to maintain which make them the first choice as far as kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms are concerned. It is made from clay, formed in a uniform shape, glazed with coating for strength and baked to harden. It is very heat resistant, being one of the most commonly used tiles for fireplaces and radiant heat systems. It is also relatively inexpensive, and durable.

2. Porcelain Tile:

This type of tile is similar to ceramic, but much tougher. Porcelain tiles are manufactured from clay that is finer than that used in ceramic tiles and passed through very high temperatures which infuse some great qualities in them like superior density and hardness. This tile is often used for kitchen floors and countertops because it is not porous (less water absorption) which limits moisture damage. Apart from this, porcelain tiles can also be used for places that have immense footfalls like a movie cinema or a mall.

3. Vitrified Tiles:

Vitrification is done to make these tiles. They are related to the word "vitri" which refers to the phrase "transform into glass" or "something that almost resembles glass". The vitrified tiles are composed of a mixture containing silica and clay. Pretty much sturdy and durable, vitrified tiles are adopted mostly for floor tiles in residential projects. The best add-on with using vitrified tiles is that they can be laid on the existing floors also. Now this means that you don’t need to uninstall the old tiles from the flooring. As the popularity of vitrified tiles is increasingly growing, they have been made available in various further types such as PGVT (Polished glazed vitrified tiles) and GVT (glazed vitrified tiles).

Now let's take a look at the difference between glazed tiles and polished glazed tiles:

  • Ability to absorb water: Glazed vitrified tiles have a higher water absorption rate than polished glazed vitrified tiles and are therefore less durable.

  • Differences in color and texture: Due to the existence of enamel, enamel tiles can create many different styles and colors. Polished ceramic tile is usually a single color with no pattern. From the origin of the glazed tiles above, you can see that it is made of two layers, so you can see that the texture on the side of the tiles distinguishes between the two types of tiles, with glazed tiles that have multiple layers structure.

  • Difference in tiles size: Glazed vitrified tiles are more brittle than polished glazed vitrified tiles, so they generally appear in small sizes, including 200 x 200 mm. Vitrified slabs are the smallest size of 400*400 mm, 600*600 mm, and even bigger vitrified tiles.

4. Marble tiles:

Often considered one of the more expensive natural stone tile materials, marble is an elegant and bold choice, as it exudes a level of elegance and panache that is hard to replicate with other materials. It’s been used in several ancient structures, and has resisted the heat well over hundreds of years. But marble tiles require more maintenance, like regular polishing, and are susceptible to damage from foot traffic and moisture. However, its beauty especially in foyers is unmatched by other types of flooring. When selecting marble tiles or slabs, be sure to inspect the material for any rough areas, as these may require extra sealing to protect against stains due to its porous nature.

5. Granite Tiles:

With its naturally appearing specks and flecks of color ingrained within, granite is another natural rock tile used both in countertops as well as in flooring. Granite is next to diamond in terms of toughness. Another tile used in many kitchens, granite is good at withstanding extreme heat, damage, and is also quite easy to maintain. It also possesses a natural beauty that increases the aesthetic value of a home. However, if you plan to use granite tiles for areas with water (like bathrooms), it’s best to go for unpolished granite to avoid slipping accidents.

6. Sandstone:

This durable stone tile is more expensive than ceramic and porcelain, but it lasts longer. Made from organic material, this tile only requires very little maintenance—a rinse every so often is enough. It’s great to be installed around pools because sandstone is unaffected by heat. Therefore the water is kept cool. Sandstone tiles come in neutral colors, so they’re easy to incorporate in your decorating scheme.

7. Glass tile:

Sparkling glass tiles are a glamorous choice for backsplash or shower tile. Compared to other tiles, glass tiles possess the highest level of stain resistance, even impermeable to red wine and acidic lemon juice. Falling prey to one disadvantage, glass tile has a relative ease to chip and crack if an item is dropped upon it, so this product works best on your wall.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for tiles is to check their durability. Choose tiles that are not only beautiful but also long-lasting.

I know, I know -- after sharing all of these great tile ideas with you, what started as a simple bathroom remodel has now become a laundry list of home improvement projects you just can’t wait to start! Divine Innovation, a team of professional designers can help check off that list quickly. Whether you add a stylish ceramic backsplash tile or install rugged granite bathroom floor tile, having this knowledge in your back pocket about the types of tile and the best uses for tile will give you a hand up on creating your own ideal interior.